I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, is it okay that I’m 24 years old and increasingly obsessed with the anime Fairy Tail? I mean, besides me and my husband, the only other people I know that watch it are kids. You know, I think it is okay. More than okay. It’s fantastic that we’re so into this show. Let me explain.
Over the last several years, I’ve noticed this growing culture of fangirl. There’s even a book titled Fangirl, which is on my vacation reading list at the end of this month. Fandoms are a real thing, real communities of people who are brought together by a shared love of some example of modern entertainment. Sherlock, The Hobbit, any anime, video games, the superheros taking Hollywood by storm these days, take your pick. These things have fandoms. If you can walk into a Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million and find a lot of merchandise for this movie or book series or whatever, then chances are high there’s a fandom for it. The Frog Queen says the Sherlock fandom in particular is kinda crazy, but they wait years between three episode seasons, can you blame them?
So why is this happening? Why are people increasingly immersing themselves in fictional worlds to this degree? Is it a bad thing? Are we all just denying our adulthood in a semi-defiant way?
Really, I think this is just a part of geek/nerd culture becoming mainstream. It’s okay to fangirl over something, to consider yourself part of fandom that adores this entertainment. Honestly, I feel that there is so much negativity in this world that finding community like this is a beautiful thing. That’s not to say sometimes fandoms don’t go the wrong way. It’s like anything else. If it grows large enough, there will be some negativity, but that’s not all there is to it.
Particularly with Fairy Tail, I am in love with the show because of the characters and what they stand for. The story is cool and appeals to me as a fan of magical things, but it’s more than that. It’s family. It’s friendship. It’s fighting when the odds are stacked against you, standing by your own even when the world is determined to tear them down. I think that’s a common theme in anime, which might explain why it is so popular. That’s kind of nice to think about, actually. Even with all the hatred and negativity in this world, people are drawn to community and love and standing for what they believe in.
The community of fandoms is growing self-aware of what they are, with books like Fangirl and comics like “Fanboys vs. Zombies” being published. Fanfiction.net is growing all the time with people writing their own stories about things they love, which sometimes leads to their own original fiction. The same applies to art, music, and a number of other things. In this day and age, it’s okay to be a fan. It’s almost celebrated, in fact. So today, get out there and find something to celebrate with.
Keep calm and fangirl on. Kelswitch over and out. Have a great Saturday!